The 12th Armored Division set off from New York for the European theatre of war on September 20th 1944. They would spend November and December surging across northern France encountering the enemy in Alsace and at the Maginot Line, liberating parts of France as they went. They were one of only two US Armoured Divisions to have african american combat companies integrated into the division. They adopted the nickname “Hellcats” symbolising their toughness and readiness for combat. They would meet their toughest opposition against German Forces at Herrlisheim – part of Hitler’s Operation North wind.